Apr 10

Johann Sebastian Bach – Lutheran Masses II – Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:11:30 minutes | 1,24 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: eClassical | Artwork: Digital booklet | @ BIS Records
Recorded: February 2014 (BWV 233, 234) and February 2015 (Peranda) at Kobe Shoin Women’s University Chapel, Japan

By Bach’s time, the traditional forms of church service had been fundamentally altered by the Reformation, and in German churches Latin had yielded to the country’s own language. To an extent, however, the Latin mass text did remain in use in Protestant church music – in particular the Kyrie and Gloria sections. Albeit incomplete, this form of mass setting was termed ‘Missa’; nowadays the pieces are often referred to as ‘Lutheran Masses’. Bach’s famous Mass in B minor, later expanded into a complete mass, began its existence as a work of this kind, and four other examples from Bach’s pen have survived. The recent release of the Missae in G minor and G major (BWV 235 and 236) caused the reviewers in Gramophone and Fono Forum to eagerly look forward to the sequel, and Bach Collegium Japan and Masaaki Suzuki have not kept them waiting. Like their companion works, the two Lutheran Masses recorded here make extensive use of earlier compositions by Bach and include reworkings of arias and choruses from cantatas, but each of the four masses also has its own unmistakable artistic profile. The most telling detail on the present disc is the instrumentation, where Bach’s choice of flutes in BWV 234 and of horns and oboes in BWV 233 contributes to the individual character of each work. In his task of supplying the music for church services Bach also performed music by other composers, among them Marco Gioseppe Peranda whose Kyrie-Gloria mass closes the disc. Born in 1625, Peranda trained in Rome, and was active in the Dresden Hofkapelle from the 1650s until his death in 1675. Copies in Bach’s hand of parts of Peranda’s splendidly contrapuntal Missa in A minor exist, and it is likely that Bach performed the work during the latter part of his Leipzig period.

Tracklist:

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
Lutheran Mass in A major, BWV 234
1 Kyrie (Chorus) 06:04
2 Gloria (Chorus) 05:12
3 Domine Deus (Basso) 05:54
4 Qui tollis peccata mundi (Soprano) 05:54
5 Quoniam tu solus sanctus (Alto) 03:13
6 Cum Sancto Spiritu (Chorus) 03:11

Lutheran Mass in F major, BWV 233
7 Kyrie (Chorus) 03:40
8 Gloria (Chorus) 05:12
9 Domine Deus (Basso) 03:13
10 Qui tollis peccata mundi (Soprano) 05:39
11 Quoniam tu solus sanctus (Alto) 03:34
12 Cum Sancto Spiritu (Chorus) 02:34

Marco Gioseppe Peranda (1625–75)
Missa in A minor
13 Kyrie (Chorus) 05:35
14 Gloria (Chorus) 11:08

Personnel:
Bach Collegium Japan chorus & orchestra
Masaaki Suzuki direction
Hana Blazíková soprano (BWV 233 & 234)
Joanne Lunn and Aki Matsui sopranos (Peranda)
Robin Blaze counter-tenor
Katsuhiko Nakashima tenor (BWV 234)
Gerd Türk and Yusuke Fujii tenors (Peranda)
Peter Kooij bass (BWV 233 & 234)
Dominik Wörner bass (Peranda)

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Apr 10

Anton Bruckner – Symphony No.9 – Carl Schuricht, Wiener Philharmoniker (1962/2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 56:22 minutes | 1.13 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © Warner Classics/Erato

With immaculate sound quality and sonics, renowned conductor Carl Schuricht leads the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra through Bruckner’s historic Ninth Symphony. Commanding with gentle assurance and unparalleled artistry, Schuricht delivers an intense reading overflowing with vitality. The orchestra’s performance is powerful and detailed.

Tracklist:
Anton Bruckner (1824-1896)
Symphony No.9 In D Minor
1 I. Feierlich, misterioso 25:37
2 II. Scherzo (Bewegt, lebhaft) & Trio (Schnell) 10:28
3 III. Adagio (Langsam, feierlich) 20:17

Personnel:
Wiener Philharmoniker
Carl Schuricht, conductor

About the Mastering
Four engineers at Abbey Road Studios in London have remastered these historic EMI recordings from their original analogue sources for release in pristine hi-def. Between them, Simon Gibson, Ian Jones, Andy Walter and Allan Ramsay have many years of experience remastering archive recordings for EMI and other record labels. The process always starts with finding all of the records and tapes in EMI’s archive in London and comparing different sources and any previous CD reissues. We consult each recording’s job file, which contains notes about the recording made by the engineer and producer. For example, this sometimes explain why there is more than one set of tapes to choose from. All of the tapes are generally in good condition and we play them on our Studer A80 π inch tape machine, after careful calibration of its replay characteristics.
In order to have the best digital remastering tools at our disposal for the remastering, we transfer from analogue to the digital domain at 96 KHz and 24-bit resolution using a Prism ADA-8 converter and capture the audio to our SADiE Digital Audio Workstation.
Simon Gibson, January 2012

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Apr 10

Dvorak: Cello Concerto / Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme – Mstislav Rostropovich, Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan (1968/2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 01:00:23 minutes | 2,05 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: e-onkyo | Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Recorded: September 1968, Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany

„Mstislav Rostropovich is the world’s greatest cellist, and he has actually made at least five recordings of this greatest of all cello concertos. I have a certain preference for his later version, with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra on Erato. This version has long been a prime recommendation, and in this new remastering at mid-price, it’s an even better deal now. Herbert von Karajan accompanies with his usual expertise, and the Tchaikovsky performance is quite simply the finest around. This concerto is one of those pieces of which you’ll want to have five or six copies. Just make sure this is one of them.“ –David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday

„Two great musicians performing with complete sympathy for each other: Rostropovich on top form and Karajan an attentive partner.“ –James Jolly, Gramophone

Rostropovich’s emotional and sonic power in this classic 1968 recording has never been bettered.“ –Jessica Duchen, BBC Music Magazine

“The intensity of lyrical feeling and the spontaneity of the partnership between Karajan and Rostropovich ensures the position of their DG disc at the top of the list of recommendations.” –Penguin Guide

Tracklist:

Antonín Dvorák (1841-1904)
Cello Concerto in B minor, Op.104
1. 1. Allegro 15:43
2. 2. Adagio ma non troppo 12:42
3. 3. Finale (Allegro moderato) 13:05

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op.33
4. Moderato assai quasi andante 00:54
5. Tema: Moderato semplice 01:43
6. Variazione I: Tempo del Tema 00:52
7. Variazione II: Tempo del Tema 01:14
8. Variazione III: Andante sostenuto 03:58
9. Variazione IV: Andante grazioso 01:53
10. Variazione V: Allegro moderato 03:29
11. Variazione VI: Andante 02:52
12. Variazione VII e Coda: Allegro vivo 01:59

Personnel:
Mstislav Rostropovich, Cello
Berliner Philharmoniker
Herbert von Karajan, Conductor

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Apr 10

A Festival of Fucik – Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 01:19:42 minutes | 1,43 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: theclassicalshop.net | © Chandos Records
Recorded: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow; 16 and 17 February 2015

Thirty years after having recorded Dvořák’s complete Symphonies on Chandos, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and its laureate conductor Neeme Järvi tackle another romantic Czech composer: Julius Fučík, famous for his more than 400 polkas, marches, and waltzes, some of the best of which are featured here.
Fučík studied violin in his early years, switching later to the bassoon, with a subsidiary in percussion and timpani. Playing in Austrian regiments, he gained invaluable experience of writing for military band and became a very prolific composer of marches. The most famous of these is of course Entry of the Gladiators, completed in 1899 and performed throughout the world ever since.

Full of energetic, effervescent Bohemian crossrhythms, tuneful brass melodies (often now associated with a circus atmosphere), but also more lyrical expressions, this album is a festival in itself.

“Järvi and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra deliver this excellently recorded anthology with great enthusiasm, throwing themselves into these brightly coloured scores without a hint of condescension or irony…this is a highly enjoyable reminder of the delights of Romanticism’s popular side.” –BBC Music magazine

“Nicely crafted and highly enjoyable music, played with all the life and fizz it requires by Järvi and his Scottish-based colleagues. What he lacks in memorable melody he makes up for with swagger, immense charm and foot-tapping brio – and, my goodness, this career bandmaster certainly knew how to orchestrate. The sound picture is a Chandos spectacular.”—Gramophone

Tracklist:
Julius Ernst Wilhelm Fučík (1872 – 1916)
1. Marinarella, Op. 215 11:00
2. Onkel Teddy (Uncle Teddy), Op. 239 (version for orchestra) 4:54
Donausagen, Op. 233
3. Andantino 3:05
4. I. Tempo di valse 1:47
5. II. Con dolcezza 1:51
6. III. 1:25
7. Coda 2:10
8. Die lustigen Dorfschmiede (The Merry Blacksmiths), Op. 218 2:37
9. Der alte Brummbar (The Old Grumbler), Op. 210 5:02
10. Einzug der Gladiatoren (The Entry of the Gladiators), Op. 68, “Triumph March” 2:39
11. Miramare, Op. 247 7:50
12. Florentiner Marsch (Florentine March), Op. 214, “Grande marcia Italiana” 5:22
13. Wintersturme (Winter Storms), Op. 184 (arr. P. Stanek for orchestra) 9:23
14. Hercegovac, Op. 235 2:59
15. Regimentskinder (Children of the Regiment), Op. 169 3:03
Ballettratten, Op. 226
16. Allegretto 1:25
17. I. Tempo di valse 1:48
18. II. Meno con delicatezza 1:23
19. III. Meno mosso 1:36
20. Coda 1:54
21. The Mississippi River, Op. 160 (161) 2:47
22. Unter der Admiralsflagge (Under the Admiral’s Flag), Op. 82 3:46

Personnel:
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Neeme Järvi, conductor

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Apr 10

Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 17 ‘Tempest’ / Schumann: Fantasy – Sviatoslav Richter (1961/2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 55:42 minutes | 1,06 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © EMI Classics

Sviatoslav Richter is acknowledged as one of the great pianists of the twentieth century, known for his virtuoso technique and rich insight. This record features his reading of works by Beethoven and Schumann. His interpretations breathe a new vitality that attacks with power and precision. These inspired performances will leave listeners awestruck.

Tracklist:
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Piano Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, Op.31 No.2 ‘Tempest’
1 I. Largo – Allegro 9:24
2 II. Adagio 7:17
3 III. Allegretto 7:02
Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Fantasy in C Major Op. 17
4 I. Durchaus phantastisch und leidenschaftlich vorzutragen 13:58
5 II. Massig (durchaus energisch) 6:47
6 III. Langsam getragen (durchweg leise zu halten) 11:14
Personnel:
Sviatoslav Richter, piano

About the Mastering
Four engineers at Abbey Road Studios in London have remastered these historic EMI recordings from their original analogue sources for release in pristine hi-def. Between them, Simon Gibson, Ian Jones, Andy Walter and Allan Ramsay have many years of experience remastering archive recordings for EMI and other record labels. The process always starts with finding all of the records and tapes in EMI’s archive in London and comparing different sources and any previous CD reissues. We consult each recording’s job file, which contains notes about the recording made by the engineer and producer. For example, this sometimes explain why there is more than one set of tapes to choose from. All of the tapes are generally in good condition and we play them on our Studer A80 π inch tape machine, after careful calibration of its replay characteristics.
In order to have the best digital remastering tools at our disposal for the remastering, we transfer from analogue to the digital domain at 96 KHz and 24-bit resolution using a Prism ADA-8 converter and capture the audio to our SADiE Digital Audio Workstation.
Simon Gibson, January 2012

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Apr 10

Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphonies Nos. 4 & 7 – Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Joshua Bell (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 01:12:14 minutes | 1,23 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © Sony Music Entertainment

Beethoven: Symphonies 4 & 7 is Joshua Bell’s debut recording as Music Director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Bell is a GRAMMY® Award-winning artist and this monumental release marks the first American and first person to hold the title of Music Director since Sir Neville Marriner formed the ensemble back in 1958. Bell is found both conducting and performing from the concertmaster chair. It is truly a display of virtuosity and has already garnered praise from The Washington Post.

“there’s a winning fluidity to the collaboration. Bell’s semi-historical approach involves sheer textures and blistering speeds, sweetened here and there with soloistic vibrato. The Seventh could do with more mist and awe but the dances are tightly and brightly pointed.” –The Independent

“These are splendidly alert performances, responding to every nuance in the music, and they made me listen to Beethoven with fresh ears. Particularly impressive is the pianissimo playing Bell obtains from the orchestra…This recording is a real pleasure.” –BBC Music Magazine

“Bell’s interpretative reach isn’t long but nothing is out of place. Readers who like music ‘played straight’ may be very satisfied” –Gramophone

Tracklist:
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Symphony No. 4 in B Flat Major, Op. 60
1. I. Adagio – Allegro vivace 11:16
2. II. Adagio 09:25
3. III. Allegro molto e vivace 05:36
4. IV. Allegro ma non troppo 06:38

Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92
5. I. Poco sostenuto – Vivace 14:18
6. II. Allegretto 08:07
7. III. Presto – Assai meno presto (trio) 08:17
8. IV. Allegro con brio 08:41

Personnel:
Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Joshua Bell, conductor, violin

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Apr 10

Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphonies Nos.1 & 3 – Wiener Philharmoniker, Wilhelm Furtwangler (1952/2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 1:17:57 minutes | 794 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © EMI Classics
Recorded: 24, 26-28.IX.1952, Musikvereinsaal, Vienna, Austria

Esteemed conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra delivers a definitive reading of Beethoven’s Symphonies No. 1 & 3. Performing on authentic instruments, the musicians play with sensitivity and skill. Furtwangler, a Beethovenian, brings a sense of excitement and first-class direction. With its impeccable sound quality, this is a worthwhile listen!

Tracklist:
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Symphony No. 1 in C, Op.21
1 I. Adagio molto – Allegro con brio 7:54
2 II. Andante cantabile con moto 7:23
3 III. Menuetto (Allegro molto e vivace) 3:52
4 IV. Adagio – Allegro molto e vivace 6:25
Symphony No. 3 in E Flat, Op.55 ‘Eroica’
5 I. Allegro con brio 16:11
6 II. Marcia funebre (Adagio assai) 17:23
7 III. Scherzo (Allegro vivace) 6:31
8 IV. Allegro molto – Poco andante – Presto 12:18

Personnel:
Wiener Philharmoniker
Wilhelm Furtwängler, conductor

About the Mastering
Four engineers at Abbey Road Studios in London have remastered these historic EMI recordings from their original analogue sources for release in pristine hi-def. Between them, Simon Gibson, Ian Jones, Andy Walter and Allan Ramsay have many years of experience remastering archive recordings for EMI and other record labels. The process always starts with finding all of the records and tapes in EMI’s archive in London and comparing different sources and any previous CD reissues. We consult each recording’s job file, which contains notes about the recording made by the engineer and producer. For example, this sometimes explain why there is more than one set of tapes to choose from. All of the tapes are generally in good condition and we play them on our Studer A80 π inch tape machine, after careful calibration of its replay characteristics.
In order to have the best digital remastering tools at our disposal for the remastering, we transfer from analogue to the digital domain at 96 KHz and 24-bit resolution using a Prism ADA-8 converter and capture the audio to our SADiE Digital Audio Workstation.
Simon Gibson, January 2012

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Apr 10

Johannes Brahms – Ein Deutsches Requiem – Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer (1961/2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 1:08:54 minutes | 1.34 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © Warner Classics/Erato
Recorded: 1961, Kingsway Hall, London

Otto Klemperer was one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century and built a renowned reputation for his monumental performances. Leading the Philharmonia Orchestra & Chorus, Klemperer delivers one of the greatest recordings of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem. At the height of their powers, the ensemble was able to combine the rugged spirituality and lyrical aspects of this score. Soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau were in peak form adding stunning solo contributions. This audiophile download is essential for any music lover’s collection.

It doesn’t take long, listening to this recording of Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with Otto Klemperer leading the Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus, to understand its iconic status as one of the outstanding recordings of the work. In the opening measures of the first movement, “Selig sind, die da Leid tragen,” Klemperer creates an ethereally transparent texture that blossoms throughout the movement into a mood of luminous serenity. That quality is even more pronounced in the transcendent tranquility of the fourth movement, “Wie Lieblich sind deine Wohnungen.” In the second movement, “Den alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras,” Klemperer cuts loose in the build up to the apocalyptic second choral statement of the theme, which has an overwhelmingly ominous power, a power that he summons again in the forceful sixth movement, “Denn wir haben keine bleibende Stadt.” Klemperer handles the composers’ tricky tempos shifts with complete assurance, so that they seem entirely inevitable. Throughout, Klemperer demonstrates his profound understanding of the musical and emotional richness and complexity of Brahms’ masterpiece. The orchestra and chorus respond to his leadership with complete attentiveness and deliver nuanced and passionate performances. Baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s investment in the music is evident in his warm tone, shapely phrasing, and the dramatic urgency of his performance. Soprano Elizabeth Schwartzkopf’s voice did not have all the bloom and flexibility of its prime, but she brings a floating lightness to her solo, “Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit.” Produced by Walter Legge and engineered by Douglas Larter, the recording was state-of- the-art when it was recorded in 1961, and the 1997 digital remastering brings it to a standard that should satisfy most listeners. The sound is transparent in the quieter moments, and round and rich in the fuller sections, and always clear and clean. This recording is a must-have for fans of Brahms’ Requiem and of outstanding choral performances. –AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins

Tracklist:
Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
Ein deutsches Requiem Op.45
1 Selig sind, die da Leid tragen 10:00
2 Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras 14:30
3 Herr, lehre doch mich 9:50
4 Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen 5:46
5 Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit 6:52
6 Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende Statt 11:43
7 Selig sind die Toten, die in dem Herren sterben 10:13

Personnel:
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, soprano
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone
Ralph Downes, organ
Philharmonia Chorus
Reinhold Schmid, choir master
Philharmonia Orchestra
Otto Klemperer, conductor

About the Mastering
Four engineers at Abbey Road Studios in London have remastered these historic EMI recordings from their original analogue sources for release in pristine hi-def. Between them, Simon Gibson, Ian Jones, Andy Walter and Allan Ramsay have many years of experience remastering archive recordings for EMI and other record labels. The process always starts with finding all of the records and tapes in EMI’s archive in London and comparing different sources and any previous CD reissues. We consult each recording’s job file, which contains notes about the recording made by the engineer and producer. For example, this sometimes explain why there is more than one set of tapes to choose from. All of the tapes are generally in good condition and we play them on our Studer A80 π inch tape machine, after careful calibration of its replay characteristics.
In order to have the best digital remastering tools at our disposal for the remastering, we transfer from analogue to the digital domain at 96 KHz and 24-bit resolution using a Prism ADA-8 converter and capture the audio to our SADiE Digital Audio Workstation.
Simon Gibson, January 2012

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Apr 10

Johannes Brahms – Ein deutsches Requiem – Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle (2007/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1kHz | Time – 1:07:06 minutes | 582 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © Warner Classics International
Recorded: 26–29.X.2006, Philharmonie, Berlin

The German Requiem is Brahms’ largest single composition and a pivotal work in his own creative life. It bears little relation to the Messa da Requiem of Catholic liturgy. Less a requiem for the dead, it is more an act of consolation for the bereaved. Brahms told Karl Reinthaler, the choirmaster (and trained theologian) who helped prepare the work’s premiere in Bremen in 1868: ‘I could easily dispense with the word “German” and replace it with “Human”.’ Like Heinrich Schütz in his 1636 burial mass, Musikalische Exequien, Brahms sets German- language texts drawn from the Bible. Many are familiar from Protestant funeral rites used in Germany and elsewhere; the emphasis, however, is very much Brahms’s own.

Some of the music used in the German Requiem can be traced back to 1854, when Brahms launched an ambitious plan to write a four- movement symphony in D minor. This eventually became his First Piano Concerto, though he also set aside certain material, including a slow Scherzo in the form of a sarabande. The basis of the second-movement funeral march in theGerman Requiem (‘For all flesh is as grass’), the sarabande was first used in 1858 in Brahms’s seven-movement, seven-minute Begräbnisgesang (‘Burial Song’), a graveside anthem of rare concentration and intensity scored for mixed chorus and wind band. Schumann’s death, and the grief of his widow, may have been the inspiration behind the piece.

The achievement of the German Requiem, its musical and dramatic reach, helped point the way forward to Brahms’s most cherished goal: the fashioning of a long-awaited first symphony. He nonetheless continued to write sacred music until the end of his life. Indeed, the late flowering of the ancient German Protestant Motet might be regarded as one of his most singular achievements.

Tracklist:
Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
Ein deutsches Requiem Op.45
1. I. Selig sind, die da Leid tragen 09:56
2. II. Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras 14:14
3. III. Herr, lehre doch mich 09:13
4. IV. Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen 04:54
5. V. Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit 07:35
6. VI. Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende Statt 10:44
7. VII. Selig sind die Toten 10:30

Personnel:
Dorothea Röschmann, soprano
Thomas Quasthoff, baritone
Rundfunkchor Berlin
Simon Halsey, chorus master
Berliner Philharmoniker
Sir Simon Rattle, conductor

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Apr 07

Vaughan Williams & Elgar – The Lark Ascending; Tallis Fantasia; Introduction & Allegro; In Moonlight – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Pinchas Zukerman (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:11:49 minutes | 1,3 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: highresaudio.com | Artwork: Digital Booklet | © Decca
Recorded: Cadogan Hall, London, 8 & 9 September 2015

This album, reflecting the love affair Pinchas Zukerman has had with English music since the late 1960s, contains the most beloved violin pieces by Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan Williams, the towering figures of the English musical renaissance. Salut d’amour was immensely popular from the beginning but made Elgar virtually no money. The Lark Ascending had to wait until after Vaughan Williams’s death to become renowned throughout the English-speaking world.

The two composers were very different. Elgar, a sensitive, nervous type, was not only lower-middle class but a Roman Catholic and thus doubly beyond the pale. By sheer hard work he made himself into a leading late-Romantic composer, successor to Schumann, Brahms and Dvorˇák and a superb orchestrator. Vaughan Williams, a large, almost shambling figure, had the confidence of being born into the upper class and, starting as an Anglican, became an agnostic. An enthusiastic folksong collector, he loved to compose in a modal, pentatonic manner but behaved rather like a gentleman amateur, often needing help with scoring his orchestral music.

Tracklist:

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
1. The Lark Ascending 14:20
2. Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis 16:03

Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
Serenade for strings in E minor, op.20:
3. 1. Allegro piacevole 03:29
4. 2. Larghetto 06:13
5. 3. Allegretto 02:55
6. Salut d’amour, Op.12 03:19
7. Chanson de matin, Op.15 No. 2 03:24
8. Chanson de Nuit, Op.15, No.1 04:26
9. In Moonlight 03:15
10. Introduction & Allegro for Strings, Op.47 14:25

Accademia Bizantina:
Pinchas Zukerman, violin, viola & conductor
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

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